A BALLOCH OAP who reacted to the end of a 39-year relationship with his wife by leaving her a series of threatening and abusive voicemails has been spared a prison sentence – but has also been banned from having any contact with her for the next five years.

Henry Jennings, 69, left a series of messages on his ex-wife’s phone, including one in which he said “one, two, three, we’ll see what happens to you” and others calling her a “dirty, scummy b*****d” and a “dirty f*****g rat”.

Jennings, of McGregor Avenue appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty at earlier hearings to two separate counts of threatening or abusive behaviour.

The court was told Jennings’ relationship with his former partner ended in August of last year, after the couple had been together since the late 1970s, and Jennings’ ex-wife had left their home as a result.

Fiscal depute Emma Thomson said the voicemail messages had been left during a four-hour period between 4pm and 8pm on February 26, six months after the relationship ended.

Ms Thomson said: “[The woman] switched the phone off as she felt frightened; she spoke to a lawyer and was advised to contact police.

“She went to the police on February 28, when she was still quite shaken.”

Jennings was arrested by police later that day.

However, it wasn’t the end of the pensioner’s threatening behaviour against his ex-wife: in a separate incident, this time on June 25, he went to her home in Alexandria and damaged a quantity of garden lights, kept in a shed, while she was out.

He was traced and arrested and appeared in court the following day, when sentence was deferred for background reports.

Stephen McGuire, defending, said: “The break-up of the relationship came out of the blue as far as he was concerned.

“In relation to the February incident, he took drink – which is unusual for him – and can’t remember the messages he left.”

Mr McGuire said Jennings’ behaviour in the June incident was “ill-advised, at best”, and added: “He accepts he behaved in a way that was, frankly, childish, and does him no credit at all.”

Sheriff William Gallacher told Jennings: “You have acted vigorously and aggressively on more than one occasion and that will not do.

“However, I am satisfied that I can intervene without imposing a custodial sentence – and I rather suspect that might help everybody.”

Jennings was handed a community payback order which will see him supervised by social workers for the next nine months.

He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work as a punishment, again within nine months.

The sheriff granted a Crown motion for a non-harassment order barring Jennings from having any contact with his wife, or going to the street where she lives, until 2024.